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Pierre Bayard biography

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Pierre Bayard
Photo : Hélène Bamberge

Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Biography

Pierre Bayard is a professor of French literature at the University of Paris VIII and a psychoanalyst. He is the author of Who Killed Roger Ackroyd, How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read, Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles, and other books, many of which have not been translated into English.



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Interview

A profile of Pierre Bayard

Bayard's best-known work in English prior to How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read is a work of literary detection entitled Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?, published in 2000. In this book, Bayard dares to suggest that Hercule Poirot's solution to one of Agatha Christie's best-loved mysteries, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is incorrect and that Christie has deliberately deceived the casual reader. On his way to fingering the real murderer, Bayard conducts a sustained investigation into the nature of detective stories and the blind spots they exploit in hiding their solutions in plain sight, which he extends to other literary genres as well. He writes, "Many readers of fictional texts have at times experienced the disagreeable impression that they are being kept in the dark." As in How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read, this book concerns itself with literature that "disturbs the transparency of reading." Reading, for Bayard, is never the simple transaction between author and reader that it would seem.

It is fitting that, though he is in the business of writing about and teaching literature, Pierre Bayard would focus his attention on non-reading rather than reading. His background in psychoanalysis predisposes him to notice ...

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Books by Pierre Bayard at BookBrowse
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read jacket
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